The Sunshine Observer: SO… V59
Today I worked on the wetland path and was met by mosquitos the size of cruise ships. Tom leant me his anti-mosquito hoodie and I zipped myself up to my eyes. I dug more sod, ugh, then planted 13 verbena bonariensis seedlings to add to the existing ones that were gorgeous last year. After playing gardener, I went to the pharmacy and ran into Raja the tortoise at the strip mall.
Yesterdays post had me thinking about the fringes of culture and its influence on the mainstream. The following is from a post from 2013…
October 23, 2013
Last night my husband was playing DJ Rashad’s Double Cup album. It reminded me that if we want to stay relevant, whether it’s in business or society, we should stretch outside our comfort zones now and again.
Music is a language of culture. It represents the sentiments of the time and place it was created. Music that comes from the edges of our ethos is foretelling of changes to come in the mainstream.
My husband invited me to dance to one of the songs. Double Cup is in the footwork genre, which to me sounds like a combo of techno, hip-hop and ghetto house music. Its contrasting groove sucked me right in. My husband, being the font of all knowledge, also had search results open on Tumblr for “double cup”. It showed mixed media, most included styrofoam cups, sprite, and codeine cough syrup. Not being familiar with the term I looked it up.
While Rashad’s Double Cup will rub many people the wrong way it is a provocative and good listen. It has strong language that is lewd and disrespectful. It’s about things I abhor although am drawn to. It’s right, and not right.
Cultural context gives us the difference between polite and offensive speech. And not being from the Double Cup culture (if there is such a thing) I’m unclear if any offense is suggested. It does however beg questions and brings the movie The Gods Must be Crazy to mind. Where the story follows a coke bottle that falls from an airplane into a culture secluded from the larger world; it brings joy, chaos and violence.
I’m not saying Double Cup will have the same effect on the mainstream. Or that we’re going to be drinking dirty sprite at our local cocktail lounge. Yet getting high continues to be a theme in modern western society. Escapism is mainstream and we continue to be creative about how we do it. Beyond new ways to get high, the point is that ideas morph and spread. Wandering to the edges to see what’s up often shows us innovative ways to meet a culture’s needs.
Will this help keep us relevant? If we don’t jump over the fence now and again we’ll never know.
Back to 2020.
DJ Rashad died from an overdose 6 months later. So many talented people pushing the edges flame out too soon, but not before leaving a lasting mark. We saw him at the Crocodile a few months before his death. The set felt like we were with him in his backyard. He was casual, holding a fifth of something while chatting with people on stage, moving back and forth from his equipment. His music isn’t for everyone, but I connected to its edge. The dichotomy of giving a shit and not about life held me. His creativity is reflected in so much music that followed, especially the discordant parts. And look at how discordant society is today. We are moving toward systems that dehumanize humans because those in power understand how to weaponize fear. The God’s must be crazy.
On that cheery note…
Onto our 5-minute meditation. The Waning Balsamic Moon moves toward darkness.
There is nothing to do
accept what is
sit, listen, feel, breathe